Atlanta Braves beat-writer Mark Bowman gave us an insight into the offseason plans of general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, a few days ago, breaking the heart of every fan who wanted the Bravos to get in a bidding war for guys like Bryce Harper this offseason. Take a look at this exprect from his article below:
“We’re not going to just walk in the store and buy because we have money in our pockets,” Anthopoulos said. “If we don’t find the right deal with something we like, there’s still other opportunities to shop. There could be opportunities next season. If you start signing guys to big, long deals, if you feel good about the deal, you do it now. I wouldn’t force a deal right now that would limit you in years from now.”
“I don’t think with our club, with what we have, that the value is going to be there in the free-agent market,” Anthopoulos said. “It doesn’t mean it won’t. We’ll certainly explore it. But if I could sit here in the middle of October, I’d say it’s more likely we go the trade route. It’s not ideal to give up young assets, but it’s also not ideal to do a deal you don’t believe in — that may look good for a year or two, and then in years three, four and five, it does not.”
While these words from Anthopoulos may be disappointing to some, they should not be surprising. The Braves have never been one to get in bidding wars with teams that have much larger pockets, and frankly, these long-term deals that have become popular for the top free agents have rarely panned out well for the organization.
Atlanta also has a bit of a logjam in their farm system with so many talented young pitching prospects. The Braves already had about 7 or 8 major-league ready starters this year. Eventually, a few of them are going to have to be traded, and with the Braves owning the title of NL East Champions, now seems like the right time to do it.